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Web Dev + WordPress + Security

Block Random String Comment Spam

Recently WordPress sites have been getting hammered with random-string comment spam. The attackers are clever, using random text strings for every vector except the payload, which usually is the URL used for the comment’s Name link. But for these weird comment spams, the apparent payload is the email address. It’s the only part of the comment that’s not made up of random gibberish. Continue reading »

WP 6.0 Fix Error: QTags is not defined

“Quick” post about an error that may occur with WordPress 6.0 (and possibly other versions). After updating to WordPress 6, the JavaScript Errors Notifier extension was showing a “QTags is not defined” error on sites where custom Quicktags are configured (via plugins or custom scripts). Because of the error, custom Quicktags were broken and not added to the editor toolbar. This quick post explains why the error is happening and how to fix it (easily). Continue reading »

Ultimate Comment Blacklist for WordPress: How to Stop Spam Without Plugins

[ WordPress Ultimate Comment Blacklist ]

How do YOU stop comment spam? If you’re like a lot of WordPress users, you just grab another plugin or two and call it good. I mean after all, plugins like Akismet work great at stopping spam. The only downside is that, well, you’re relying on another plugin. And that’s fine for folks who just wanna “get ’er done”, although each active plugin requires additional maintenance and server resources. Continue reading »

Redirecting Hash Fragments with .htaccess

During this year’s site redesigns, I noticed in the server logs some 404 errors for various WordPress comments. These 404 requests each involved a fragment identifier (i.e., character string beginning with a pound sign, #) being interpreted as its HTML entity hex equivalent, %23. It may not seem like a big deal, but these days every detail counts, so it’s wise to clean up as many 404 errors as possible. Thus, here is a simple .htaccess technique for redirecting hash-fragment […] Continue reading »

WordPress Plugin: Simple Ajax Chat

[ Simple Ajax Chat ]

Simple Ajax Chat displays a fully customizable Ajax-powered chat box anywhere on your site. SAC makes it easy for your visitors to chat with each other on your website. There already are a number of decent chat plugins, but I wanted one that is simple yet fully customizable with all the features AND outputs clean HTML markup for easy styling. Continue reading »

WordPress Plugin: Simple Blog Stats

[ Simple Blog Stats ]

Simple Blog Stats is a free WordPress plugin that provides a wealth of shortcodes and tags to display a variety of unique statistics about your site. Stats about your blog include total number of categories, comments, posts, users, tags, and more. SBS also displays recent comments and recent posts in posts, pages, and anywhere in your theme. Plus additional stats for Custom Post Types, word counts, and much more. Continue reading »

Backwards-Compatible Spam and Delete Buttons for WordPress

Recently, Joost de Valk shared an excellent technique for adding spam and delete buttons to comments on your WordPress-powered blog. The idea is to save administration time by providing links to either “spam” or “delete” individual comments without having to navigate through the WordPress Admin Area. Joost provides the following plug-n-play solution: Continue reading »

WordPress Tip: Link Author Comments to the Home Page

After almost three years of blogging here at Perishable Press, I had an epiphany about my author comment links. Way back when, after installing WordPress in a subdirectory called /press/, without really thinking too much about it, I decided to set the URL for the Admin User’s “Website” as this: https://perishablepress.com/press/ After all, it seemed to make sense at the time, plus it really didn’t seem to matter.. I mean think about it. Unless I instruct my WordPress theme to […] Continue reading »

WordPress Tip: Disable Comments in Old Posts via PHP

Just a quick WordPress snippet for future reference. I recently explained how to disable comments, pingbacks, and trackbacks via SQL. Here’s a good way to do it via PHP: <?php function close_comments( $posts ) { if ( !is_single() ) { return $posts; } if ( time() – strtotime( $posts[0]->post_date_gmt ) > ( 30 * 24 * 60 * 60 ) ) { $posts[0]->comment_status = 'closed'; $posts[0]->ping_status = 'closed'; } return $posts; } add_filter( 'the_posts', 'close_comments' ); ?> You can run […] Continue reading »

WordPress Tip: Remove Spam from the Comment Subscription Manager

[ Image: Jonny Quest (Inverted) ]

After investigating some unusual 404 errors the other day, I found myself digging through the WordPress Admin Area trying to locate the “Subscribe to Comments” options panel. As it turns out, administrative options for the Subscribe to Comments plugin are split into two different areas. First, the S2C plugin provides configuration options under the WordPress General Settings > “Subscribe to Comments”, which enables users to tweak everything from subscription messages to custom CSS styles. New to me was the other […] Continue reading »

WordPress Discussion Management: Enable or Disable Comments and Pingbacks via SQL

Continuing my quest to stop comment spam without using plugins, I have decided to disable comments on “old” posts. In my experience, over 90% of comment, trackback and pingback spam occurs on posts that have been online for over a month or so, just long enough to be indexed by the search engines and picked up by spammers. Especially for older posts that have managed to acquire a little page rank, the frequency of spam attempts is far greater than […] Continue reading »

WordPress Error Fix(?): Increase PHP Memory for cache.php

This trick isn’t guaranteed to prevent all WordPress-generated PHP memory errors, but it certainly seems to help reduce their overall occurrence. For some reason, after my host upgraded their servers to Apache 1.3.41, I began logging an extremely high number of fatal PHP “memory exhausted” errors resulting from the WordPress cache.php script. Here is an example of the countless errors that are generated: Continue reading »

New Version of BlogStats PCC for WP 2.3

Just a note to announce the release of a new version of BlogStats PCC. BlogStats PCC is a free WordPress plugin that provides an easy way to share your blog’s core statistics with your visitors. You can show off any or all of the following statistics: total number of posts total number of comments total number of categories total number of registered users total number of unregistered users total number of individual, static pages the date of the most recent […] Continue reading »

WordPress Spam Battle: 3 Seconds that will Save You Hours of Time

In the hellish battle against spam, many WordPress users have adopted a highly effective trinity of anti-spam plugins: Akismet Bad Behavior Spam Karma This effective triage of free WordPress plugins has served many a WP-blogger well, eliminating virtually 99% of all automated comment-related spam. When spam first became a problem for me, I installed this triple-threat arsenal of anti-spam plugins and immediately enjoyed the results. Although Spam Karma seemed a little invasive and resource-intensive, too much protection seemed far better […] Continue reading »

Hacking WordPress: The Ultimate Nofollow Blacklist

[ Image: Death-metal rocker drunk with power ]

Several days ago, I posted an article explaining how to hack your own WordPress nofollow blacklist. Immediately thereafter, I published an elaborate article focusing on automatic methods of nofollow blacklisting via WordPress plugins. In this article, I expand on the original blacklist hack by incorporating functional differentiation between commentator links, trackbacks, and pingbacks. If anything, think of this as an exercise in hacking WordPress, rewarding in and of itself, if not otherwise entirely impractical. Of course, whenever possible, you should […] Continue reading »

Hacking WordPress: Dofollow Whitelist for Commentator Links

[ Image: Inverted Eye Detail ]

Before repenting of my filthy “nofollow” addiction, I experimented briefly with a “dofollow whitelist” for commentator URL links. The idea behind the whitelist is to reward frequent commentators, feed subscribers, site patrons, and other guests by selectively removing the automatically generated nofollow attributes from their associated comment-author links. For nofollow enthusiasts, a dofollow whitelist is a great way to show appreciation for people who support your blogging efforts. Now, before we go hacking away at WordPress, keep in mind that […] Continue reading »

Welcome
Perishable Press is operated by Jeff Starr, a professional web developer and book author with two decades of experience. Here you will find posts about web development, WordPress, security, and more »
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